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notion of a rate increase. that's a big deal. but there's another way of looking at this. what we're arguing about here is the future of the bush tax cuts which were enacted back in 2001 which blew a massive hole in the budget and helped to create the deficits everyone's now screaming about. in which republicans have been railing against for 11 years. and yet for all the drama and suspense, he said he wanted the bush rates extended for 98% of americans. republicans said they wanted them extended for 100%. it looks like the compromise will cover about 99%. for all the noise we've heard about the bush tax cuts and all the budgetary damage they've done, almost all of them are going to survive for good. i wouldn't be surprised if somewhere an ex-president is smiling. martin, bashir.
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it's all yours. welcome. it's wednesday, december 19th. and the president echoes the cry of millions. enough is enough. >> we may never know all the reasons why this tragedy happened. we do know that every day since, more americans have died of gun violence. but the fact that this problem is complexed can no longer be an excuse for doing nothing. that's why i've asked the vice president to lead an effort that includes members of my cabinet and outside organizations to come up with a set of concrete proposals no later than january. proposals that i then intend to push without delay. the majority, the vast majority of responsible law-abiding gun owners would be some of the first to say that we should be able to keep an irresponsible law-breaking few from buying a weapon of war. it won't be easy, but that can't be an excuse not to try.
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>> those were just a few of the strong words from the president this morning holding a major news conference today beginning to answer calls for action after the horrific massacre in newtown, connecticut. the president took a number of questions. many of them on another major issue facing washington. negotiations on the fiscal cliff. with house speaker john boehner holding his own 52nd presser on that today. and we'll have more on that throughout the hour. but first in the renewed debate on gun control. the president today named vice president joe biden to lead an inter-agency task force to develop a policy response to the tragedy at sandy hook saying he cannot do it alone. >> ultimately if this effort is to succeed, it's going to require the help of the american people. it's going to require all of you. mothers and fathers, daughters
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and sons, pastors, law enforcement, mental health professionals, and yes gun owners standing up and saying enough on behalf of our kids. >> the president reiterated that he'll use whatever powers his office holds to prevent another tragedy like newtown. and his choice of vice president biden signals a robust effort to confront america's foremost gun lobbyists. >> the nra is an organization that has members who are mothers and fathers. and i would expect that they've been impacted by this as well. and hopefully they'll do some self-reflection. >> indeed. self-reflection is something joe biden's recommended as well. confronted by a particularly zealous gun advocate during the youtube presidential debate in 2011. >> tell me your position on gun control as myself and other americans really want to know if our babies are safe.
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this is my baby. purchased under the 1994 gun ban. >> i tell you what, if that's his baby. he needs help. i think he just made an admission against self-interest. i don't know that he's mentally qualified to own that gun. >> the vice president went on to deliver an em passioned defense of gun control to keep citizens safe from lethal weapons falling into the wrong hands. scripting the federal assault weapons ban. all of which earned mr. biden his "f" rating from the nra. the nra is prepared to offer meaningful contributions to help make sure this never happens again. the group will face its critics with a press conference on friday. and last night on nra news online, host jenny simone gave a hint of their response. criticizing renewed support for
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a ban on assault weapons. >> more gun laws are not the answer. and what we need to do is stop making schools magnets for mass murderers like adam lanza. >> the answer, more guns. everywhere. >> good advice for senator feinstein and some of those anti-gunners on the hill to listen to some of these survivors. at the school. these gun-free zones are not the answer. people are left as sitting ducks. adam lanza knew he was going to be able to do what he wanted to do. >> for some, too many guns are never, ever enough. let's get right to our panel now. with me in new york is richard wolffe who's the v.p. and executive editor on and ari melber. there was almost the acknowledgment that this wild use of assault weapons is never going to be stopped by politicians.
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he said if we're going to change things it's going to take a wave of americans. mothers, fathers, daughters, sons, pastors, law enforcement. mental health professionals. it will take commitment and compromise. but most of all it'll take courage. why is that? >> that is because both political parties have failed for so long on this issue that no one expects them to get this done alone within the politics as usual. i thought we really witnessed a potential breakthrough today. i thought the president came out and spoke very eloquently and very honestly about both the barriers and why we must change, why this is different. why the country i think everyone is seeing is looking at all of these corpses of children. and having a reset that's something deeper than politics. i think while we know often washington is broken and often not democratic in responding to the public will, it is true when we have tremendous trauma and
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crises, people answer differently. >> i just showed you an example of an nra online broadcast where the woman was saying we need more guns. >> that view is out there. and 69% of americans have shot a gun. if you tell people what you're after their guns, they get nervous. but look. i'm not talking about gun control. i'm talking about semiautomatic gun control. that's a different thing. i grew up in a house with a hunting shot gun. we're not talking -- no one is talking about going after hunting guns right now. we are talking about the ars. joe biden put it best in that moment there. if you think you need an ar at home, you probably need help. and i'm comfortable seconding that. we need to completely restart this debate. >> richard, how is it possible that when thomas hamilton walks into a school in scotland and murders 13 children, the british
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government acts. in the same year in australia there's the port arthur massacre and the uaustralian government acts. and we've had columbine, newtown. and nothing happens. not a political issue. a point of debate. it's an object of reverence in this country. it's a god. >> what you're pointing to, let's talk about the british and australian. the revulsion against the deaths of murders of elementary school kids had a huge impact there in those countries. and it's having a huge impact right now. the reason this is not just a one-day, one-week story is because people are so heartbroken. and they are shocked at what happened. >> it's been three years since virginia tech. what happened? >> i think there's an emotional
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difference when it comes to elementary school kids. that makes it different. number two, people said when we're talking about the nra, there was once upon a time more powerful and more fearsome lobby in washington. it was the tobacco lobby. people were saying there could be nothing more american than the marlboro man. how much of the country's economy was based on tobacco. so where you have deep rooted culture, it can take a long time. it wasn't one thing that changed the cigarette culture in this country. it wasn't thing that changed car safety in this country. it took one decade. it took two decades. i think that's where we're at right now. if it's going to be mental health, legislation, executive orders, it's going to have to be a weakening of the nra's grip on washington right now. it's not going to happen in a year. but it has to be sustained. >> and to echo that political point.
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everyone says don't bring a gun -- a knife to a gun fight, but you shouldn't bring a grenade launcher to a duel either. and the nra has been so over the top and so militant and so bound up with the interests of gun manufacturers rather than the average law-abiding gun owner that i do think something else is happening politically. which is it's not clear to me as observer of the politics. we talked about the ethics of it which come first. but it's not clear the nra has played their hand well. i think they've overplayed their hand. and they may be dealing with a backlash. and that's why manchin and others who used to be on the talking points of the nra are coming back saying enough is enough. you don't speak for me. and in the case of manchin, he loves guns. but they don't speak for him. >> well, let's hear what newt gingrich is offering in response to this matter. here he is. >> one of the things we may end up concluding is that school administrators should be trained and should have arms that are available under lock and key. that principal who lost her life
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had been able to step in the door and kill him, we would have saved a tremendous number of lives. >> arm school administrators. so they're supposed to be educators, they're supposed to be consolers, supporters, inspirers, and now shooters. newt gingrich. >> referee: it's a stupid idea, and the data and the research shows when you add more people untrained holding guns you don't increase safety. this came up when people wanted to have more armed people on the planes after 9/11. >> ari, he's not alone. >> no, he's not. >> mr. gohmert, congressman said he hoped the school had an m-4, m-5. there are many other people saying the same thing. >> the mother of the killer had plenty of guns that didn't protect her. it's ludicrous. this is up there with the gingrich colony on the moon. there aren't teachers out there clambering for it. that's where if newt gingrich
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speaks for anyone and i'm not sure he really does, but if he speaks for anyone, they're not in tune with the public mood right now. the question is how do -- there are people still coming back to the tobacco analogy. there are people that still smoke and people who drive really too fast and die on the roads. no one is saying in this point that we're talking about taking away guns out of the entirety of american culture. it's gun safety. and do you make schools safer by having more weapons out there. it's conceivable some other kid could break into the school's gun closet and turn it on the princip principal. >> the other issue which is how does a handgun compare against an ar-15, one that was used by the shooter in newtown. >> exactly. "the new york times" reported the people who are using ar-15s that you can attach a grenade launcher to them. we have one of the highest per capita gun to population rates
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in the world. so we've already tried this. the people who say more guns would keep us safe, we've been doing that and the country is looking at this and saying we've got to do something else. >> let's hope so. thank you very much for your spirited discussion. first, this idea of arming everyone is nothing new. archie bunker brought it up 40 years ago. the difference then was that everyone realized how ludicrous it would be. >> now, i want to talk about another thing that's on everybody's mind today. and that's you car jackings. if that was up to me, i could end the sky jackings tomorrow. >> you could? >> all you got to do is arm all your passengers. [ laughter ]
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tomorrow we're going to find out just how many friends john boehner has within his own party. the vote is scheduled on the speaker's plan "b" which expects precious little from the wealthy but hammers the poor and the middle class. >> income tax rates should go up except right now he only wants to have them go up for millionaires. if you're making 900,000, somehow he thinks you can't afford to pay more in taxes. >> the presidenbriefing room ap spent over 20 minutes on just the fiscal cliff was then met by this. a 50-second speech by speaker boehner that showed no fire, no confidence, and ended like this. >> he can call on senate democrats to pass that bill, or he can be responsible for the
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largest tax increase in american history. >> 50 seconds. joining us now is congressman joe crowley of new york. good afternoon, sir. >> good afternoon. great to be with you. >> we've just witnessed an astonishing appearance by speaker boehner. but what is the point of this vote in the house given that the president has made it clear that he will never agree to speaker boehner's plan "b." what's the point? >> that's right. what is the point? we don't get it here. i don't think the american people get it. they will not understand it either. >> shall i tell you what we think it is. we think it's possible and here's me speculating, sir. is it possible that speaker boehner wants to display his robust opposition to any tax rises to his caucus so that we go over the fiscal cliff, he gets re-elected on january 3rd, and then there's legislation to put things back into order?
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>> very plausible, martin. but what it will do, i think will send the wrong message to the world. that once again the congress can't act, cannot get its act together. and cannot pass responsible legislation. what the president has sent down is part of a compromise. i'm sure that there are going to be things in the president's compromise that i won't like. but i understand that being at the table is about compromise. what really i think is demonstrated by this 50-second press conference by mr. boehner is -- and i like john, but the reality is there's nothing -- i'm surprised he had a press conference. if you have a vision, you can talk about it. the president has one. he wants to get this country moving in the right direction. get it back in a balanced way. they don't. they're looking out for the interest of the wealthiest in this country and are willing to sacrifice working people and the middle class of this country for
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a small percentage of americans. >> mr. crowley, 50 seconds by the speaker. opposed to a president who spoke 20 minutes. hi focus was actually on the issue of guns. that kind of petulance, if i displayed that in front of my father, i'd be beaten. you know, i don't think you want to resort to that. i think he may be in far rude awakening himself. i think he's going to have difficulty in passing his one-house bill. the bill that will raise taxes only on those making more than a million dollars. and at the same time are not protecting the overwhelming majority of americans in this country that rely on tax credits to get by every year. >> let me play you something more that the president said today, sir. take a listen.
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>> it is very hard for them to say yes to me. at some point, they've got to take me out of it and think about their voters. and think about what's best for the country. >> mr. crowley, we've just had four years of this. we've had four years of some kind of personal grudge against this president. there has been a re-election, an emphatic electoral victory for the man. what is the problem? >> i don't understand it myself. to be honest with you, if i did i would share it with you. it apparently hasn't sunk in yet that the president won re-election. and their allegiance for so many of my republican colleagues is toward one person. grover norquist. not to their constituency whom i believe your polling has indicated wants to see washington working together to solve the problems of our
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country. instead their allegiance is to one man who they signed a pledge to not to raise any taxes. the real question will be whether they fulfill that pledge when they vote to raise taxes on people making more than a million dollars. i think they're in a quandary. i don't know how they get themselves out of it. for the sake of the country, they should abandon that vow and work on the first vow when they take an oath. do nothing to hurt the interest of this country. that's what they should be focused on. >> so a final question to you, sir. is this going to take place tomorrow? are they going to vote, you think? >> i think they will. i think they're bent on doing that. that the whole procedure in the way they're going to go about doing it is really incredible. and especially we're only 12 days away from the fiscal cliff. i think it's irresponsible. but it's par for the course at this point. we haven't done much in this past congress to begin with.
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and unfortunately i think it may be an indication where we're going next year. it's not what the american people want. >> indeed they do. thanks so much. stay with us. much more ahead on this very busy day. it's hard to believe it's less than a week until christmas day. ♪ ♪ i'd like to thank eating right, whole grain, multigrain cheerios! mom, are those my jeans? [ female announcer ] people who choose more whole grain tend to weigh less than those who don't. multigrain cheerios i've got a nice long life ahead. big plans. so when i found out medicare doesn't pay all my medical expenses, i got a medicare supplement insurance plan. [ male announcer ] if you're eligible for medicare, you may know it only covers about 80% of your part b medical expenses. the rest is up to you. call and find out about an aarp medicare supplement insurance plan, insured by unitedhealthcare insurance company.
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♪ [ male announcer ] everyone deserves the gift of all day pain relief. this season, discover aleve. all day pain relief with just two pills. now we take a moment to remember two very different men. both left an indelible mark on the history of american politics and both passed away this week. conservative jurist robert bork who served during the watergate crisis and was called by reagan. died today at the age of 85. bork's 1987 confirmation hearings led to a pitched political battle in which he was turned down for a seat on the court. just this year he served as an adviser to mitt romney's presidential campaign.
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democratic senator daniel inouye who served in congress since hawaii became a state in 1959 died on monday at the age of 88. and tomorrow his body will lie in state at the capitol rotunda. a decorated second world war veteran. we give thanks for the service of both these men. stay with us. we'll have much more ahead. ♪ ♪ if it wasn't for you ♪ don't know what i'd do ♪ i'd have nothing to prove [ male announcer ] zales is the diamond store. save 25 percent off an amazing selection storewide, now through monday.
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the president acts on gun violence in america while the nra searches for something to say. here are today's top lines. it takes a nation. >> i have asked the vice president to come up with a set of concrete proposals. >> myself and other americans really want to know if our babies are safe. this is my baby. >> if that's his baby, he needs help. i don't know that he's mentally qualified to own that gun.
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>> this is not something where folks are going to be studying the issue for six months and publishing a report that gets pushed aside. >> by the time legislative bodies get around to serious legislation and infringing on the second amendment, the emotional pitch will have evaporated. >> i believe that the second amendment guarantees an individual right to bear arms. >> we the people all want to do something constructive to make this horror doesn't happen again. >> let's go down the path of banning the assault weapon. >> there's not a single republican in america in elected office that's not going to step up and say something. >> probably little will change. >> what we have here is a professional liar. professional liars know when to shut up. >> we see the strategy crystal clear. erase the second amendment from the bill of rights. >> the nra is willing to offer contributions. >> we're about to be victim of a siege. >> wayne lapierre continues to huddle in hiding. we're trying to come up with
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what the nra is going to say. >> tths going to be ugly. it's going to come hard, fast, and soon. >> no words that can wash the blood from this hands. >> nra is an organization that has members who are mothers and fathers. and hopefully they'll do some self-reflection. >> where have you been? >> i've been president of the united states. i don't think i've been on vacation. it's going to take a wave of merits coming up and saying enough on behalf of our kids. >> let's get right to it. krystal ball is my colleague and the cohost of "the cycle." marissa is a president of voter latino. and we also have the democratic strategist, the one and only julian epstein with us. krystal, i want to start with you. there's a story in the "new york times" today. he found the chances of there being a gun in a democratic household is 31% while the chances of a gun in a republican household is 56%. now, every other industrialized
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nation doesn't have this obsession with firearms as michael bloomberg the mayor of new york said yesterday. so why are guns so central to politics here? >> well, it's become sort of a -- more of a cultural touch stone than almost anything else. and i'm sure part of those numbers playing into it is the fact that republicans tend to focus on rural areas, rural areas there tends to be higher incident of gun ownership. i'm sure that's part of it. and the conversation about gun rights and the second amendment has gotten all wrapped up in this sense of rural identity. and people who want to impose gun controls are seen as not getting rural people not understanding common folk, wanting to change a certain way of life. so it's gotten tied up in a whole lot of cultural touch stones that have nothing to do with the actual issue. >> right. maria teresa, according to mr.
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silver, whether someone owns a gun is a predictor of a person's political party whether her gender, whether she identifies as gay or lesbian, whether she's hispanic, whether she lives in the south, or a number of demographic characteristics. how is it possible that guns are a better indicator in this country of which way you'll vote than your social class, your history, your race. anything? >> i think also it's what krystal was saying. it's where you live. if i'm from a rural area and hispanic and catholic, the likelihood of meeting and promoting the idea of gun ownership is much more of self-identification than if i had those same qualifications but lived in downtown new york, manhattan. but i think the more important part of it is to take a step back and recognize today that because of the tragedy that just happened in newtown, what we're finding is that republicans and
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democrats, mothers and fathers across the aisle are trying to figure out what do we do. it's an opportunity for us to look at ourselves in the mirror and say we need to solve this problem. >> julian, the american political establishment has been sadly slow to do anything about gun violence. but big business is responding. a major equity firm sold its stake in bushmasters. retailers like walmart made some minor adjustments. is this a sign that perhaps this time, this time something substantive is going to change. >> i think something is going to change. and first of all to the statistics, remember only 27% of american households are registered republican. and a new poll just came out which i think is a much more important statistic from cnn that shows a majority of americans actually want a ban on gun ownership. six in ten americans want a ban on assault weapons. i think that's the more important -- and you see not just democrats and independents but even some responsible
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republicans in those camps. and i think this is -- the question now is how you begin to affect change. on the political one we have this huge apparatus. we just came off a campaign. this is like any other campaign. there is a huge campaign out there that has grass roots capabilities, microtargeting capabilities, social media capabilities. the movement and others responsible republicans now need to use that apparatus that was in place from the 2012 elections and make change happen. focus on a piece of legislation. this is an opportunity to break the back of the nra. i think that can be done. i think secondly you can pick 10 to 20 republican districts. you can establish a group of police, teachers, and other civic leaders that would be for taking a republican member out of congress if he was going to
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become a stuge for the nra. sold the manufacturer of the rifle that was used in newtown, it is very easy i think to develop a -- and i've seen corporations change their behavior when you have an effective grass roots campaign. if you were to, say, choose walmart or dick's sporting goods which also stopped selling the guns and you were to start doing an effective online and traditional campaign that makes clear that the executives of these countries are taking blood money, you will see companies change their. behavior very quickly. it's been done in a lot of other contexts. the key is for like minded individuals to use all of these various things at their disposal to make things happen in the political arena and in the corporate arena as well. >> now, we should say that walmart is actually still selling these weapons. >> right.
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they're a good target. >> but, you know, this private equity firm that we were talking about, they were actually pushed into this because the california state teachers retirement system, one of its biggest investors pressured them. is that an example of the kind of if you like, consumer action that people can take now? >> absolutely. >> but should all of us be reflecting on if we do have a retirement plan, who is taking our investment? >> absolutely. and also to julian's point, i mean, the social media aspect of this. just expressing those views. telling companies, telling corporations, telling politicians what is acceptable and what is unacceptable to you. and i'll give you a couple of concrete examples. you'll remember well the comments that rush limbaugh made about sandra fluke on his program -- >> i remember what you did. you led the way in that. >> well, there was a huge wave and a huge backlash. a lot of advertisers dropped his show because they didn't want to support that kind of hate
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speech. and a number of stations also ended up dropping. one other quick example, we had susan koman for the cure being forced by public outrage to reinstate their partnership with planned parenthood. and in virginia we had transvaginal probes which were being mandated by the government. and that was also pulled back despite the fact that republicans held all the leverage of power because of public outrage. so that is the true way to hold politicians and corporations accountable. >> and i think -- when we start talking about the new element here that i think what nra is not thinking about is not banking on is the transparency that social media provides. it's one thing to have a public outrage, but had this happened five years ago, you wouldn't be able to mobilize in such a turn of a dime when you actually see results. walmart is the number one manufacturer, the number one seller of firearms. so while you go pick up your milk, you pick up your ammunition. there's an opportunity for the
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walmart mom to put her foot down and say you need to change your ways. >> a couple things. remember it's important to keep the focus on the political arena as well because we do need legislation but also on the corporate arena. there's various things. not just social media. it's consumer activism. and for people that are outraged at what happened. it is financial support. it takes a lot of financial support for groups like the violence policy center. bring handgun control. the mayors organization. but the point that i want to make here is -- and i'm seeing this happen many times with corporate executives. you only need to take one or two out. if you develop a couple million people who are threatening to boycott walmart and to make clear that they think that ceo of walmart is taking blood money by the fact that it continues to sell these semiautomatic weapons that are responsible for so much carnage in this country, you will see the change happen quickly. but it takes a coordinated campaign. you have to focus on one or two of the corporations. the others will see and they
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will fall into place. they need the political effort and consumer effort at the same time. >> what jillian is describing is a perfect play of what the tobacco industry did. because of the organizing. >> absolutely. thank you so much, all of you. stay with us. much more ahead. >> what i think and i think you agree with me, that we can tighten up the purchases of guns, particularly heavy weapons like the ars. we can tighten those up. i would support, for example, anybody owning an ar in america would have to register with the fbi. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
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>> what's your reaction to the benghazi report? >> benghazi, do you have a reaction to the report? >> journalists at the white
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house today trying to ask the president about a report on the fatal attack in benghazi where four diplomats were killed. three state department officials have now resigned following the report's publication. conservatives on television repeated some wild conspiracy theories about what happened. but the report says grossly inadequate security, systemic failures were to blame. secretary of state hillary clinton says she accepts every one of the panel's recommendations. while her likely replacement had this reaction. >> secretary clinton said she would do this. and it would be a completely unvarnished appraisal. and that's what it is. i think she and the administration deserve credit for doing what was required here. >> this also comes as a belated comfort to you and ambassador
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susan rice who became the scapegoat for some whose theories have been proven flatout wrong. jonathan capehart is an opinion writing for "the washington post." john, we heard the accusations the president delayed the administration's response, manipulating the remarks offered by susan rice. we had the fox news report that the cia had ordered the rescue team to stand down. reports about officials in washington somehow dragging their feet on the night of the attack. this report found none of those to be true. >> uh-huh. no. and guess what else the report doesn't mention? susan rice. doesn't mention her at all. because as we've talked about for weeks, as we've known for weeks, what was going on in benghazi had nothing to do with
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susan rice. it had everything to do with security failures on the part of the state department, cia, lapses of leadership as the report points out. and so if anyone thinks that now senators john mccain and lindsey graham are going to mards out there and say susan rice we're sorry. that's not going to happen. this fight was not about susan rice. this was about old vendettas on senator mccain's part against the president. >> right. darrell issa now says he's concerned that state department officials intentionally misled his words, americans during his oversight hearings. and he wants secretary clinton to personally address the issue. can i ask you, isn't it time that mr. issa and paul ryan and other republicans explain why they opposed the state department's repeated requests for funding which resulted in
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300 fewer security personnel to protect american diplomats in the first place? >> well, it's an excellent question. and clearly part of the problem here security was outsourced. we were relying on militias in an unstable country. it was a very precarious situation. and i think part of that is because on the one hand republicans and a lot of other people in washington want america to have a presence around the world to project american power and strength, to have a lot of influence over events overseas. but on the other hand, we're cutting our budgets. and security for these embassies is expensive. because there are a lot of threats to defend against. i think one consequence of that is corners are being cut. there's outsourcing. this may have been a tragic result. >> john, there will be open hearings on the report tomorrow
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as you know. the doctors have ordered the secretary of state to rest following her concussion. at what point do you think she will be required to appear publicly and answer questions in relation to this? >> well, i think the secretary will testify when she is able to testify. i mean, having a concussion, fainting, hitting your head hard enough to have a concussion is a serious matter. so i do expect the secretary to testify about what happened on her watch. again, while everyone was focused on susan rice who had no line authority in any of this whatsoever, secretary clinton was the one -- is the secretary of state. she is the one responsible. and to her credit, she is the one as secretary -- talk about a freudian slip. senator kerry said she is the one who ordered this report.
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>> as you know has been mentioned as a 2016 presidential contender. but what effect do you think this -- and it is an extremely critical report -- what effect do you think this will have on her ambitions? >> i think it's a little hard to say. it is a long time from now. yes there will be a lot of pontificating and people will be having fun with who is the front runner and that thing. but the campaign won't take off for a couple of years. there will be a lot of water under the bridge by then. but i also think that this didn't really -- you know, i haven't seen a lot of evidence to think that this was a burning issue that was on her desk that she made executive decisions on. it seemed a lot of it was happening below her pay grade. i think it's appropriate she should be accountable for it. at the same time i personally wouldn't expect the secretary of state to be in the details of, you know, the precise security arrangements in every mission
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around the world. she has a lot going on. i don't want to put her off the hook, my short version is i don't think it's that big of a deal over the long-term. >> gentlemen, thank you. next, the president speaks to america for almost an hour. speaker boehner for less than a minute. stay with us. ♪ i always wait until the last minute. can i still ship a gift in time for christmas? yeah, sure you can. great. where's your gift? uh... whew. [ male announcer ] break from the holiday stress. ship fedex express by december 22nd for christmas delivery.
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it's been a day for some hard questions at the white house. the president had to answer questions on the fiscal cliff and also faced pointed questions about gun control. joining us now is kristen welker from the white house. gun control was never on the forefront of the president's agenda during his first term. he was called to account for that today. let's take a listen. >> this is not the first issue, the first incident of horrific
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gun violence of your four years. where have you been? >> well, here's where i've been. i've been president of the united states dealing with the worst economic crisis since the depression, an auto industry on the verge of collapse, two wars. i don't think i've been on vacation. >> that seemed to be a fairly personal moment for the president. is the white house, though, sensitive about its record on guns? especially to criticism from their own progressive supporters? >> well, they certainly have gotten a lot of criticism. i think there is some sensitivity there. remember, this is the fourth time that we will have seen a mass shooting under president obama's leadership. each one very difficult, obviously, for the nation and for him. president obama has talked about the need to enact different gun laws in the past, to reinstall the ban on assault weapons, to take other measures to crack down on gun violence. and the justice department has also kicked around some ideas
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that got shelved. this white house has come under a lot of criticism for not doing more. for not trying to enact different measures and trying to take bolder action in the past. however, i do think and according to white house officials this is also just a tough one for president obama given how young all of the victims are. they say this has been wrenching for him as it has been for the rest of the nation. >> i think that was obvious in all the public appearances. he was brokenhearted by what happened. on the fiscal cliff, kristen, the president said he's still optimistic. he says there's a few hundred billion dollars separating the two sides, but how did the talks go so wrong at this point? because things seemed to be progressing, did they not? >> they did seem to be progressing. in fact, if you had this conversation with me about 24 hours ago, i would have said it seemed as though they were moving toward actually getting a deal done. they had both presented plans. they were just a few billion dollars apart as you point out.
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and then what happened is that house speaker john boehner put forth this plan "b" essentially calling on taxes to be increased on those making $1 million or more. president obama says he's going to veto that. the white house saying that speaker boehner did that because he doesn't have the votes. speaker boehner saying he did that because the president's offer just isn't good enough. so there's still a lot of back and forth. and a lot of people saying the nation doesn't have the appetite for this in the wake of such a national tragedy. >> less than a week to christmas. kristen welker, thanks so much. and we'll be right back. mmmm tasty. and cut! very good. people are always asking me how we make these geico adverts. so we're taking you behind the scenes. this coffee cup, for example, is computer animated. it's not real. geico's customer satisfaction is quite real though. this computer-animated coffee tastes dreadful. geico. 15 minutes could save you 15 % or more on car insurance. someone get me a latte will ya, please?
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Martin Bashir
MSNBC December 19, 2012 1:00pm-2:00pm PST

News/Business. Journalist Martin Bashir uncovers breaking news stories. New.

TOPIC FREQUENCY Washington 8, Nra 8, Boehner 7, Susan Rice 7, Benghazi 4, Clinton 4, Obama 3, John Boehner 3, Krystal 3, Newt Gingrich 3, New York 3, Geico 3, Joe Biden 3, Medicare 2, Tamiflu 2, Mr. Crowley 2, Adam Lanza 2, Newtown 2, Levemir Flexpen 2, Aleve 2
Network MSNBC
Duration 01:00:00
Scanned in San Francisco, CA, USA
Source Comcast Cable
Tuner Virtual Ch. 787 (MSNBC HD)
Video Codec mpeg2video
Audio Cocec ac3
Pixel width 1920
Pixel height 1080
Sponsor Internet Archive
Audio/Visual sound, color

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on 12/19/2012